"The league wants national Iraqi reconciliation before the elections because it is necessary for the success of the elections so the elections are a step moving Iraq to a new stage," Arab League Secretary-General Amr Musa said on Sunday.

Shia parties said on Saturday the elections in Iraq should go ahead as scheduled on 30 January.

On Friday, 17 Sunni and secular groups had called for a delay of up to six months to ensure the broadest participation. 

Enthusiasm needed

"It is necessary that everyone has to be ready to participate. The important thing is that all Iraqis are enthusiastic for this," Musa said in a statement.

A number of Sunni Arab Iraqi groups and parties have threatened to boycott the poll because of violence. Some Sunni clerics have called for a boycott in protest against a US offensive in the town of Falluja. 

However, Iraq's interim government is determined to go ahead with elections on 30 January as scheduled, the government's chief spokesman said on Saturday.